David Brooks in the New York Times:
||Now it’s evident that if you want to understand the future of the Democratic Party you can learn almost nothing from the bloggers, billionaires and activists on the left who make up the “netroots.” You can learn most of what you need to know by paying attention to two different groups — high school educated women in the Midwest, and the old Clinton establishment in Washington…
||…the netroots are losing the policy battles. As Matt Bai’s reporting also suggests, the netroots have not been able to turn their passion and animus into a positive policy agenda. Democratic domestic policy is now being driven by old Clinton hands like Gene Sperling and Bruce Reed.
||…many Democratic politicians privately detest the netroots’ self-righteousness and bullying. They also know their party has a historic opportunity to pick up disaffected Republicans and moderates, so long as they don’t blow it by drifting into cuckoo land.
I was talking with a Republican friend a couple days ago. He thought Hillary was the next Kerry: a candidate of the party establishment — unbeatable in the primaries, and beatable in the general election. He thinks the most interesting candidate on the Democratic side (and one he would consider voting for) would be Obama. And that Obama might be the one Democrat who could beat the Republican candidtate. But the Clinton establishment won’t let that happen.
Netroots are important and interesting, but so far they are patches of grass. Maybe parkland. But not whole prairies. Nothing wrong with that. Just nothing right enough to move the middle. Yet.
And, for what it’s worth, I don’t think the electorate wants nothing but Bushes and Clintons running the country from 1988 to 2012 or 2016.
If the Dems want to win, Obama is the candidate to do it. But he’ll be the veep candidate, and I’m betting Clinton/Obama will lose to Thompson/ or Romney/.
If the Republicans run Rudy/, the Democrat will win.
But I’m just one root, out here on the Net.